Early Years Discussion Kit
Early Years Discussion Kit
"this is the first work related activity which has made me feel positive in a long time!"
"very enjoyable, motivating, inspirational"
What is it?
This discussion kit has been designed to get people thinking more about what we need to do to get the best future for the children in our community.
This kit is for anyone interested in helping to make sure we give the under fives in our community the future we desire. You may be a parent or carer interested in thinking about what needs to happen in your own community or neighbourhood. You could be someone who lives in the neighbourhood who wants the best for local children and wants to think through what you could do to make things better. You might be a worker wanting to work with community members to develop a plan. The kit is built on everyone having a part to play in improving the life chances of our young children.
Developed by Our Life in partnership with NHS NW with assistance from Cumbria Partnership NHS Trust, CHAMPS and Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust and the families they support the kit enables small groups of citizens to organise their own discussion about this complex issue. Through the use of a set of cards, groups can consider a range of opinions before suggesting what they think is the best course of action. The kit can be used in groups of up to 10 people or as few as three and allows people to lead their own deliberative processes in whichever venue they like, with whoever they want to.
The kit is made up of four main sections, an instruction booklet, a set of story cards, a set of influencer cards and a planning grid.
Where to obtain the kit?
We have made the kit available as a free download which you can access from the box on the right of this page. We recommend that you try and print it on thick paper or a thin card.
Kits are being distributed throughout the North West through a series of specially commissioned launch workshops. If sufficient numbers of people are interested in purchasing hard copies of the kits we can order more. If you are interested in purchasing hard copies of the kit please contact Jayne Malone on 0161 233 7500.
Once you've got hold of the kit, this is what we recommend you do next:
1. Find a group you would like to use the kit with. This could be a group that meets already, for example, a Childrens Centre parents group, a residents group or staff from a workplace or any other group; or it could be a group of friends or family; in fact anyone that may have an interest in getting the best future for the children in our community.
2. The kit does not need a trained facilitator to lead it. However, it is useful if someone in the group takes on the role of the 'dealer'. It is best if the 'dealer' looks through the kit before the group gets together (this will take only 5-10 minutes).
3. Use it!
4. If you can, try and tell others about it so we end up with thousands of conversations about wellbeing taking place all over the country.
If you have any further questions do not hesitate to get in touch with Peter Bryant. If you are interested in encouraging more people in your area, neighbourhood or community to use the kit, we have some suggestions of how you might be able to 'launch' the kit locally.
Getting others to use it
The kit was launched in June 2012 and we are encouraging people to run their own Discussion Kit launch workshops throughout the region. The aim of these workshops is to familiarise more people with the kit and to help them to share ideas for how to get more people using it in their own patch. The best people to invite to such workshops are those that you think would be committed to encouraging other people to use the kit.
If you are thinking of running your own launch workshop we would suggest that you can run one in about three hours. In this time you can get people to use the kit themselves in small groups and then get them to share ideas for using the kit in their area.
To help you run your own launch workshop we have produced a presentation which you can download here. The presentation can be used by anyone organising a launch workshop. It gives a little background to the development of the Discussion Kit and explains the structure for the three-hour workshop. It consists of a series of slides plus some supporting notes for the presenter.
As part of our ongoing evaluation of the uptake of the discussion kit, we would love to hear from you if you run a launch workshop in your area please let us know. Alternatively, if you would like to run a workshop but don't feel able to do so yourself, we can run one for you (date and fee arranged on application). If you would Our Life's help to organise and run a launch workshop for your stakeholders/colleagues, please email Holly Keogh.
If you've been on the training or used the kit, we'd love you to leave a comment in the space below. If you would like to write a blog post about your experience of using the kit and any tips you'd like to share, please get in touch with Holly Keogh.